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Report Card: Morant is Magnificent as Grizzlies beat the Spurs

Memphis wins the seasons series against San Antonio

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San Antonio Spurs v Memphis Grizzlies Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

It was another historic night in Memphis as the Grizzlies defeated the San Antonio Spurs 118-105. Ja Morant was magnificent as he set a career & franchise high for the second consecutive night, dropping the first 50-point game in Memphis Grizzlies history as the Grizzlies climb within a game of the 2-seed in the Western Conference standings. It was an electric night inside FedExForum thanks to the Grizzlies superstar point guard. His grade was pretty easy.

NBA: San Antonio Spurs at Memphis Grizzlies Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

Ja Morant: 52 points (22-30 shooting, 4-4 from beyond the arc, 4-7 from the free throw line), 7 rebounds, +/- of +23 in 34 minutes (Grade: A++++)

What an unbelievable performance by Ja Morant last night. He set a career/franchise high 52 points on 73% shooting (!!!), only 7 free throw attempts (!!!!!) and making all 4 of this 3-point attempts. Ja was aggressive attacking the basket all night long, just destroying the Spurs interior defense and then...Jakob Poeltl.

Ja then followed up with the nasty poster with an insane buzzer-beater off the Steven Adams half-court heave with just .4 seconds remaining in the first half.

Ja scored 52 points, felt like he had 52 different highlight plays, and was nearly perfect on the night. Then performance was so great, it legitimately leaves me speechless. A job well done by Ja Morant.

NBA: San Antonio Spurs at Memphis Grizzlies Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

De’Anthony Melton: 15 points, 6 rebounds, 4 turnovers (Grade: B)

Melton was the second leading scorer on the night, chipping in 15 points off the bench on 4-10 shooting. He helped the Grizzlies respond to an early Spurs run with 6 points on back-to-back triples in the first half and helped pace the Grizzlies offense while Ja was on the bench. His 4 turnovers weren’t great, as he still struggles when being a primary ball-handler but overall it was good to see Melton continue his solid play after struggling initially in his return from his bout with COVID.

San Antonio Spurs v Memphis Grizzlies Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

Steven Adams- 4 points, 14 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, 3 blocks (Grade: A)

Steven Adams continues to have an incredibly positive impact on the game of basketball without demanding a lot of the ball. His 4 points on 2-3 shooting won’t jump out on the box score, even if one of the baskets was a nifty dribble move, but he was critical to the Grizzlies success. After struggling to defend the paint in the opening minutes, Adams settled in and really protected the rim defensively. The 5 stocks were nice, and the 5 offensive rebounds helped the Grizzlies create second chance opportunities. His 5 assists are highlighted by his full-court heave to Ja, but his passing in general has been a great addition to the Grizzlies team. Especially on a night when Jaren struggled, have to give some love to the Big Kiwi.

Other Grades

Jaren Jackson Jr. (D): It was a rough game for Jaren who finished with 6 points, 5 rebounds, 5 turnovers and 5 fouls. Jaren essentially removed himself from the game in the second half, picking up 3 fouls in 4 minutes in the 3rd, and then picking up his 5th within 30 seconds of the 4th quarter. Jaren has been much better at not getting into foul trouble this year, but last night was rough for Jaren particularly with some of the fouls being cheap/lazy fouls that he otherwise has eliminated from his game this season.

Tyus Jones (B): It wasn’t the most efficient night from three for Tyus Jones, but he provided an offensive boost when it was needed scoring 13 points on 6-13 shooting. He was just 1-5 from beyond the arc but was able to get the upper hand on his younger brother a few times.

Desmond Bane (B): Bane really struggled shooting the ball (3-11 from the field, 1-5 from beyond the arc) scoring just 8 points last night, but he impressed me with his all around play. With Ja Morant taking on a heavy scoring load, Bane tied his career high with 7 assists against the Spurs. Bane’s growth in the offense this season has been great to see. Even when his shot isn’t falling, Bane is finding ways to impact the game in a positive way.

The Grizzlies are off for a couple of nights, with the Boston Celtics next up on the schedule Thursday night on TNT.

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